mastiffby Tamora Pierce

I did not read this one when it was first published in 2011 because I kind of “fell” out of love for Beka Cooper and her escapades after Terrier when Bloodhound did not quite deliver the punch that I was hoping for — even though I couldn’t quite put my finger on why.  (I vaguely recall that I didn’t like how she resolved, or didn’t resolve the relationships with the men in her life and also didn’t find the crime or investigation of the crime gripping.)

But, boy, am I glad that I went back to Beka and was not disappointed!!  It’s not that the pacing of this volume is so breathtakingly fast, and it’s not that there is more heart-wrenching romance, somehow, Mastiff just seems more mature and deeper than the previous one, fittingly so, of course, since Beka has matured herself.

This time, the whole kingdom of Tortall is in danger.  The little prince was kidnapped and mistreated.  Evil and powerful mages are setting traps and murdering innocents.  The stakes couldn’t have been higher!

This time, the newly introduced mage, Farmer, also couldn’t have been more entertaining or full of promises — AND he IS so powerful and So very clever!

This time, the mysteries keep me guessing and guessing wrongly a few times!

This time, the conclusion is both sad and satisfying.  Everything works out logically and I enjoyed the Epilogue that brings this story to the very first story I read by Tamora Pierce, Alana.  It brought a content smile to my face.

A most excellent read!

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